Today, Baltimore City Recreation & Parks (BCRP) celebrated the new Cahill Fitness & Wellness Center opening with a live-broadcast of the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Located in Baltimore’s Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park, the center’s design was inspired by the densely wooded 1,000-acre site. The building’s natural forms and exterior material palette of wood and glass curtainwall merge the facility with the forested landscape. Inside, wood saved by Baltimore’s Camp Small Zero Waste Initiative and turned into construction timber by a local sawmill adorns the walls, and carefully planned views out provide city residents endless opportunities to engage with nature.
Notably, the Cahill Fitness & Wellness Center is the only BCRP facility with a performance theater. Early in the design process, the community identified a need for a performance space as part of an inclusive community engagement effort. Currently, home to a thriving youth-based theater program, the previous Cahill facility lacked space for these young, talented performers, thus restricting the program’s growth. The design team worked closely with BCRP to develop a highly efficient floor plan to ensure parity with other BCRP facilities by allocating fitness space within the central core to allow for additional performance space.
“Working in collaboration with BCRP to meet the needs of such an engaged and passionate community like Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park was truly an honor for us,” said John Gregg, GWWO Principal. “The result is a new, modern facility that looks and feels at home within the neighborhood and will serve the city well for years to come.”
The new recreation center will officially open to the public on April 10 following BCRP’s Plan for Reopening and based on current COVID guidelines. The 32,000 SF facility houses a gymnasium, natatorium, fitness area, dance studio, and classroom. Additional site features include a splash area adjacent to the natatorium, nature play area, basketball courts, and picnic area. The building integrates many sustainable features and was designed per the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).
GWWO is proud to partner with BCRP to provide city residents with modern recreation facilities that are uniquely suited to meet each community’s needs. In addition to Cahill, notable recent projects include the Rita Church Community Center, CC Jackson Community Center, and the currently under construction Middle Branch Fitness & Wellness Center.